New path of collecting: Squash!!

   Posted by: rring   in New acquisition

One of the first things I heard about Trinity was that it had this amazing squash team.  Librarians don’t get out much, so its no surprise that it took me over a year to get to a match.  I knew nothing about it, but fortunately a colleague on the faculty who loves the game became my guide, and seeing Trinity’s successful match against Princeton sold me.

What struck me most was the fact that the players respected each other and the game more than any team sport I know.  I was vastly impressed that the referees for each match consisted of one member of each team.  My world is the world of rare books:  It’s still very much a culture of honor, reputation, and gentlemanly competition.  Squash is therefore a sport I can really “get.”

A quick check revealed that our library has almost no books on squash–in fact, you need to borrow from Wesleyan or other libraries to get the most current histories of the game.  This strikes me as a great oversight, and so to correct it I am planning to build a comprehensive collection in the Watkinson on the history of the sport.

I place before you two of my recent acquisitions: the first American edition of Racquets, Tennis and Squash (1903) by Eustace Miles, who won the U.S. amateur singles title in 1900 and the British amateur singles title in 1902 (he lost four other times in the finals), as well as the British amateur doubles in 1902 and 1904. Tennis, not racquets, was his main sport. He won the British amateur singles nine times and lost in the finals of the 1908 tennis tournament at the London Olympics, thus getting a silver medal (which is on display at the Queen’s Club in London). [The information on Miles was provided by James Zug, author of Squash: A History of the Game (2003)].

We also acquired the 1937-38 Squash Racquets Annual, which is packed with British, American, and international records, biographies, a club directory, articles on court construction, rules of play, and a list of schools and universities with courts.  The advertisements are pretty fun as well.

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